It’s hard to believe that YouTube has grown into a web giant after all these years. After all, a few years back YouTube was pretty much the place you could find videos of people making silly skits in video games, people dancing in strange places, and two best friends just doing stupid things. I mean, I’m not saying that you still can’t find your required dose of silly videos on YouTube, but over the years it is clear that things have begun to change and evolve on the simple video sharing website. Now the guys who made the video game skits have expanded into their own company dedicated to gaming, the dancer has his own following, and the friends have expanded to have one of the biggest subscription count on YouTube. Seriously, if you would have told me five years ago that the same website that brought me the infamous ‘Numa Numa’ video would offer me different web series and more sophisticated videos, I probably would not believe it.
Still, this website has expanded. It has brought some nice user-generated content to the web – some I like more than the professional grade entertainment on TV. I’m sure I’m not the only one who likes to wind down after a hard day of class and watch the latest videos on the YouTube channels I’m subscribed to. It’s a huge change from the days before where you could only find quality entertainment from professional companies to the days of today where anyone can pick up a camera and publish it online for the world to see. I’m certainly not the only one who has noticed this change. A recent blog post by Brendan Gahan has summed up the changes that YouTube has brought to the constant competition that is entertainment media and lookouts for what’s to come in the future.
Now, this article is pretty long so I’ll just use the magic of summing things up before I continue. Gahan claims that YouTube has completely changed the scope of entertainment and ‘Hollywood’ by allowing users to create awesome content audiences will watch without need of editors, directors, and A-list actors. He also states that YouTube has allowed these content creators to be paid by how many people watch it via advertisements, which is eerily similar to Television at a smaller scale as far as the money involved. He also predicts the website’s future influence on the creation of businesses.
And you know what? I completely agree with Gahan’s predictions and thoughts. With the advent of YouTube partnerships and businesses posting content on the website, YouTube has become a force to be reckoned with. As he states in his article, just about anyone can pick up a camera and publish a show on YouTube for the world to enjoy. People can give their insight on the news, give video reviews of the latest movie or video game, and even post live videos of a serious event minutes after it happens. Not to mention that this pretty much changes advertising and how money can be made through entertainment. In television, advertisers pay for a block of time where their commercial will be shown and maybe reach a wide audience depending on what’s showing. Meanwhile, advertising on YouTube is a completely different playing field. Instead of paying for a time block, advertisers the pay the website for every view their advertisement gets from the audience. So this turns into a game where the shows with bigger audiences make more money.
One of the biggest examples that I notice is a viral video based company called Rooster Teeth. This is a company that started on their own website and soon moved to YouTube as well. It gathers revenue from both their own web site and profits from the YouTube Partners program. Though it started as mainly a company based around gaming, it has expanded into a whole business that has brought other things such as a wildly successful original web show and up-to-date video game news. I mean, I remember rolling my eyes in middle school at guys who watched Rooster Teeth’s main show Red Vs. Blue because I thought it was a stupid web show that couldn’t possibly be better than cartoons. Flash-forward around seven years and now I’m watching their newest show RWBY because I enjoy it more than television shows! It’s amazing! If I were to say for sure what kind of impact YouTube will have on the development of businesses and new entertainment, I would probably have to point my fingers to this company. They’ve become a successful business based on original content posted on YouTube and I’m pretty sure that this trend will continue for many more years on this strangely fascinating website.